Advanced Material Tutorial?

I’ve watched a lot of video tutorials, and read quite a few regular tutorials, but I’m unable to find one which describes the material system in depth. I basically know how it works, but for me, trying to produce a certain material mainly consists of semi-randomly changing a lot of values. Is there a tutorial or site that describes how the material system (in Blender) relates to physical objects and light?

I don’t want material libraries; I’ve got that. I want to learn how it works so that I can easily tweak and make my own.

I’m currently trying to achieve some matte plastic colour, without any luck.

The best advice I can give you is look at the blender documentation and figure out what each specific setting does. (i.e. spec=‘how shiny is an object’, hardness=‘the size and falloff of specularity’, emit=‘how much light is emitted from the object’). Learning that is half of it.

Then studying whatever your material you want to make is the other half of it. Take your plastic for example. Ask yourself:

Is it shiny? (No, so lets turn specularity down)
Is it hard? (Somewhat, Lets give a medium value for hardness)
Is it…insert trait here…?

Go down the list of every possible trait you can think of and set that parameter. Then once your happy tweak it.

Also, lighting is very important to the materials. Your material will look different depending on the lights. I would suggest setting up fairly neutral lighting for testing materials.

http://www.linuxgraphic.org/section3d/blender/pages/didacticiels/blender_material/index-ang.html

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forTe: Yeah, that’s pretty much what I’m doing now (even though I’m not 100% sure how things relate to the physical counterpart).

Fligh: I’ve read parts of that page before. I’ll read it again, though this time more thoroughly. Let’s see if that does the trick.